By: Diane Benjamin
First, I only watched the first hour of the 2 hour and 21 minute meeting. I flipped over to Normal at 7:00 and didn’t go back and watch the rest of Bloomington as I usually do. I’d rather be outside!
Every alderman managed to show up for this meeting. The first hour was mostly a guy from Home Sweet Home Mission and a lady from Prairie State Legal discussing the need for a navigator to assist people in danger of becoming homeless or who already are.
The discussion proved the Council had a lot more information than was provided in the packet. Documents state Members of the United Way of McLean County Housing Assistance Coalition are behind this effort. Other than that, no information was provided.
This group evidently doesn’t have the time or funds to hire a navigator. They will also be approaching Normal. Some on the Council weren’t excited about giving ARPA funds to an outside agency they have no control over. The Federal government will want reports showing how the money they printed and handed out was used.
The discussion wasn’t over in an hour, but I’m headed back outside. If you want to listen and comment, please do:
One thought on “Bloomington last night”
As to this “Navigator” they want to employ (who will be overpaid I’m sure), to “help” people who are homeless or on the verge of it. Here, let me “navigate” a little for them – First off, this entire area needs some truly AFFORDABLE housing, both houses and apartments, and NOT ones tied into Government housing/section 8 etc. There are people not just here but in many places who have seen their rent practically double over the past year, paying 800-1200 a month for a 1 bedroom that USED to be 550-800 takes a massive chunk out of the income of people in the lower working class category, or seniors on fixed incomes. This goes for all cities of any size in Illinois. Second, property taxes have GOT to come down drastically, many seniors especially struggle terribly to simply pay their property taxes on homes they have occupied for 20, 30, 40 even 50+ years, property taxes should be waived entirely for anyone over 65 on Social Security or persons on disability who receive less than 20,000 per year. Next, persons who get code violations should NOT be limited to only “city approved” contractors, these “businesses” charge in many cases double or nearly double for “construction” or “repairs” and do not even do that good of work, let independent small companies or actual long time handymen/craftsman type people do the needed work, oh and this is NOT standard practice for cities, i have talked about it with people from various places and their towns/cities have no such “rule”, I think we all know why they have one HERE. The cost of repairs is often out of reach of many lower income homeowners when these draconian “rules” are applied and then they are further punished by outrageous fines. Next, people who need financial help are often not able to get locked into the type of “help” the government so often provides because they are LOANS not grants and these people do NOT have the means to repay the loans. Third, “allow” (it’s sickening that I even have to use that word) tiny house type housing for transitional or long time homeless people as well as low income people, this will mean the venerable “codes” must be overhauled dramatically. Lastly. perhaps look into the possibility of turning a lot of these empty buildings into affordable apartments even if it means rezoning. I could go on and on but I’ve ranted long enough, I hope everyone can see the gist of what I am getting at here. The REAL problem is, there is NO ONE in any city government “positions” here who TRULY understands the reality of low income people who do NOT want to just be on government tit and taken care of like a small dependent child.I also know there is a LOT more to homelessness/becoming homeless than what I have mentioned but these are some of the reason other than drug/alcohol addiction or mental illness, these are the people who truly “fall through the cracks” in the current system and their number is increasing. Bottom line, we need LESS government interference and MORE private involvement in order to decrease the incidence of homelessness.
LikeLiked by 1 person